In the far north of Sweden in a very tiny town, Kent and Britta Lindvall – believing that if you build it they will come – built the world’s largest collection of designer treehouses. At their Treehotel you can sleep in the trees, just 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, but sheltered in a bird’s nest, a disappearing cube, an elevated caravan, a gigantic dragonfly or a UFO.
It all began when the Lindvall’s were having trouble attracting people to their guesthouse (Britta’s Pensionat) in the town of Harads (population 500). They began renting out a treehouse built by a friend of theirs (for his documentary “The Tree Lovers”) and discovered it was surprisingly popular.
On a fishing trip in Russia with some of Sweden’s top architects, Kent raised the idea of building a treehouse hotel with rooms “you couldn’t find anywhere else in the world”. The architects loved the idea so Kent went home and started talking to a bank. He raised enough money to buy some forest next to the couple’s guest house that had been sold for logging.
Two years later, the Treehotel opened with the first four “treerooms”.
The attraction here is the mix of isolation and architecture. Each treehouse has a different architect all charged with coming up with something completely new, and that doesn’t harm the trees it rests on.
On our road trip through Scandinavia we took a very long detour north (11 hours north of Stockholm by car) to stay in the UFO for a night. Designed by architect Bertil Harström of Inredningsgruppen, it hovers almost 20 feet above the ground, suspended by cables from the nearby trees. Like any flying saucer, the hatch on its underbelly opens to lower an electrically-operated ladder. Inside the 30-square-meter pod has a bathroom (with incinerating toilet, like all the other treerooms) and plenty of space for a family of 5.